By Teresa Crasto
Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Game series is set in a futuristic dystopia, and is a must-read for any avid book reader.
The Hunger Games, the first installment in the trilogy, beautifully sets the scene for the other novels. The story begins to explore the continent of Panem in a North America ravaged by a global war. The area is divided into twelve districts and the Capitol, which is the wealthy center of the government. The other districts are poverty-stricken and produce different items for the use of the people in the Capitol.
The protagonist of the series is Katniss Everdeen. She comes into the spotlight when she volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a competition held every year in the Capitol.
Each district sends two tributes, ages twelve to eighteen, one boy and one girl. The tributes attempt to kill each other until there is only person left, who is crowned the victor of the Hunger Games.
Katniss is a complex character; she is often sullen and moody, yet still likeable. Collins does a good job of making Katniss behave like a typical teenager. Even though she had been forced to mature quickly, she still is brash and often childish. At times, her character can be endearing, particularly when she is interacting with her sister, and at other times, she can drive you insane.
The other major character in the series is Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from District 12. There isn’t much to say about his character because for most of the series, he is very one-sided. Only in the end of the series does his character grow in complexity. While he is a flat character, he still appeals to the reader because of his kindness and hopefulness.
The Hunger Games is overall a brilliant novel; it’s one of those books that you cannot put down once you start reading it. Each book in the trilogy gets progressively better as they begin to tackle more serious issues. There is something in them for everyone —whether it’s romance, action, or mystery.